by carbon footprint, propane is one of the greenest energy sources available.
Studies from organizations including the Environmental Protection Agency reveal that propane is an attractive option for avoiding greenhouse gas emissions in nearly any application.
Propane gives off less than half as many greenhouse gas emissions as using an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the U.S. grid. It is a low-carbon alternative fuel that produces significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than diesel and gasoline in a wide range of applications. In contrast to nontoxic propane, as little as one gallon of spilled gasoline can quickly contaminate groundwater above health advisory levels for drinking water.
Propane can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 50 percent compared with electricity in applications such as water heating, because much of the nation’s electric power is generated by coal- and oil-fired power plants. Propane has similar advantages over heating oil. For example, this YMCA in Maine switched from heating oil to propane (pdf) for its space and water heating, resulting in a CO2 emissions reduction of 183,000 pounds per year — the equivalent of taking 17 cars off the road every year. By using propane and related applications, construction pros can earn points under green building programs, such as the LEED Rating system.
Use our interactive calculator to see how residential propane space and water heating systems emit fewer greenhouse gases than many comparable systems running on electricity or fuel oil.